for which he was striving during these years is shown by the fact that he knew when his object was attained.
Note his statement in the Framingham address, when he reviewed his great work.
He briefly stated his purpose and its accomplishment in these words, ‘The Prussian system with its two central powers, a board of education and normal schools, was not known in New England
, when I first described it in public in 1835, but on the 19th of April, 1838, Massachusetts
, the Banner State
, adopted State Normal Schools by statute. . . . The 19th of April, 1838, has ever since been a red letter day in my memory.’
' statement that the Prussian system was not known in New England
is confirmed by the researches of Dr. Hinsdale
, whose conclusion we can adopt.
He found that ‘down to 1835, there is no direct evidence showing that American educators were acquainted with what had been done in Europe
for the training of teachers.’1
There had been, however, from time to time, expressions more or less formal, that teachers should be fitted for their work, for the reason that teaching is a profession, and requires special training, as does any other profession.
There was an appreciation of the fact that schools might be improved, and suggestions had been offered as to how to bring about the desired result.
Not only in Massachusetts
, but in Connecticut
, New York, and Pennsylvania
, were there those who were thinking, talking, and planning, but no practicable result had as yet been reached.
In later years, after Massachusetts
showed the way, and proved by results its effectiveness, other states followed.
It has been pointed out by Dr. W. T. Harris
, late United States Commissioner
of Education, that while state pride usually leads to the choice of one's own state to head the list in educational history, uniformly the second place is assigned to Massachusetts